Northwood are a property management and letting agent in Aberdeen, proudly covering a large area of North East Scotland from Aberdeen City Centre and Aberdeenshire: South to Stonehaven; North to Ellon and West to Inverurie and everything in between. Northwood has been a family run business for the past 8 years and being local owners has ensured a commitment and dedication to Northwood’s success, as well as a solid knowledge of the local rentals market.

Laura Mearns, Director at Northwood Aberdeen, had previously worked with placement students from RGU. She was looking to boost Northwood’s marketing presence and saw an opportunity to work with an RGU student. She has since been working with Hajrah Ahmed, a third year BA(Hons) Management student. We caught up with Laura to discuss her experience of working with Talent Exchange.

What prompted you to contact Talent Exchange?

I was keen to work on Northwood’s marketing, with a focus on developing our new website and our social media presence.

Can you please describe the process which led to your engagement with a student through Talent Exchange?

I met Emily, a member of the Talent Exchange Team, at a couple of networking events. We exchanged details and set up a meeting to discuss potential opportunities for a marketing student. I then met with the student, Hajrah and an academic member of staff at RGU’s campus and the student started the following week.

Can you describe the project that was undertaken?

The project we worked on had a marketing focus, particularly in developing our new website, writing articles, developing our social media site and generally raising Northwood’s profile.

What was the outcome of the project?

Hajrah met my expectations throughout the first semester and the student I am currently working with in second semester has continued to meet these expectations and has helped to develop the project further.

How did you work with the student?

She worked directly with me, twice a week for 6 hours per day. We set objectives at the beginning of the project and then set daily tasks which contributed to the objectives. I gave Hajirah ownership of the tasks and she reported back to me on her progress at the end of each day.

How do you think the student benefited?

She took ownership of her own tasks so had to report back on how she delivered. Hajrah was given freedom to be creative with her ideas and she was given huge amount of responsibility in managing both our website changes and creating new social media pages and content for these pages. The project also gave her the opportunity to work with the team and see the day to day operation of an office.

How do you feel your business benefitted overall?

Northwood have benefitted from fresh creative ideas that have driven our marketing forward. We have also benefitted from having the resources to get tasks done and articles written that historically would not have been at the top of our to do list, but are still very important.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known at the start?

I possibly could have benefitted from more information at the start of the process regarding the review and assessment of student progress during the project.

What would your advice be to others considering working on a project with RGU students?

My advice would be to let the student be creative, push them to deliver tasks assigned, give them ownership of tasks and always be there to answer their questions.

What was your experience of working with RGU?

Working with RGU was fantastic as always, I have decided to continue the project in semester two with a different student.

For more information on Talent Exchange, visit the Talent Exchange webpages or to talk to a member of the project team about a work experience opportunity email talentexchange@rgu.ac.uk or call 01224 262046.